the blog Synergy

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Women, Leadership and Blogging

Whew. Had something in my head when I sat down to write this, and drafting the title alone stopped me in my tracks for a while. Steve, you were so brave to take on this HUGE topic for us.

I’ve been thinking about why, as huge as it is, I haven’t been able to write much about it.

There is a very practical reason my team here knows about, and that is since my offline work has been near all-consuming for me lately (and that’s very good in another way.) However I haven’t stopped writing for my other blogs, slowed down yes, stopped no. So I have to admit that I am just having some difficulty with adding anything remotely interesting about this, much less brilliant or even controversial.

Throughout most of my career, I fought continually against the male versus female stereotypes in business. Both sides: I fought with the guys against the women who used it as a cop-out when they simply were not performing well. And yes, through the vast majority of my working career I did get paid less and altogether was taken less seriously than my male peers (and subordinates). I went through that cycle of silent dismayed observation, to youthful I-can-change-this rebellion, to very vocal objection and suffragette campaigning for equality, to external resignation warring with my internal self-commitment to effect change one day. At some point, I simply developed this m.o. of doing “it.” That is, just getting the job done on my terms within my own circle of influence, pushing that circle bigger at every opportunity, without ever wavering about my own sense of ethics, integrity, and personal truth.

Come to think of it, blogging may have appealed to me early in the game because it had such a level playing field in my own perception.

And in others’ perception too:

So, now I’m completely distracted and more than a little surprised. Embarrassing comments about me behind the clip. I’m not surprised that I like Rosa Say. I’m surprised that I like her over and over again. I should explain, and it’s going to be a case of me making myself look bad. I don’t usually like female authors. I can count on one hand the number of them I’ve read more than one of their books. We just don’t ‘click.’

And in another post:

My favorite manager of all time is/was a lady named BJ. I don’t know if she reads this or not. She said to me one time about an employee that he’d said he ‘gotta go to work.’ Her response was that he shouldn’t feel “I got to go to work,” but should instead feel “I get to go to work.”

Rich Griffith, you rock.

There are people who read my blogs very faithfully, who I realize still have not, and may not ever buy my book. The subjects in both are one and the same. Books, the best business card ever on one level, and for all the hoopla that will surround you when you are a published author, simply do not open as many doors for us as blogs do. In my own case, over 9,000+ books sold as of this writing (yes, still a drop in the bucket compared to the Marcus Buckinghams and such of the business-writing world), compared to 109,000+ page views for just one of my blogs in only two thirds of the same time period since Managing with Aloha was published.

So what am I saying? Ladies, if we want our messages heard, leadership through blogging is a terrific option for us. And leadership, whether male or female, is in high demand.

I don’t know where you may be in that cycle I talked about earlier, but consider that with blogging, you can just skip ahead to the good part, just getting the job done on your terms within your own circle of influence, pushing your circle bigger at every opportunity, without ever wavering about your own sense of ethics, integrity, and personal truth.


  • At 9:45 PM, Blogger Judie Pairan said…

    Rosa...thank you for speaking for the "all" of us, waiting out there to speak up.Unfortunately, I waited a long time to speak out on behalf of the "woman's voice." There was always someone to take care of all of my problems, small and large. Then a series of "life events" occurred that provided me with opportunities for growing into the woman I now am. Whether they introduced me to grief or happiness, these events led me to the joy with which I now lead my life. Fortunately, I landed in a place where I could help others. My joy seems almost indescribable. The right people have always appeared in my life. The right opportunity (not always lucrative) has always presented itself. I have developed into a person "doing the right thing...right." (someone else's expressions)...not the "just in time" thing. I have been, I am, a leader, a coach, a "guide at the side" Oftentimes my collaborative, team approach and my synergistic wordlview have been seen as unimportant; but when I hear the voices of those I was there for, I know that I was and still am in the right place. Ex. today a 9th grad student wrote on the whiteboard in my classroom: Dr. Pairan loves Yelena. Now what does that say?

  • At 6:26 PM, Blogger Rosa Say said…

    Judie, how wonderful! I would say that is quite the affirmation for you, that you have done magnificently in heeding your calling; for your sense of rightness to be perceived as love by another must feel so incredibly fulfilling for you.
    With much aloha for your sharing this here with all of us,


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